One of the cool things about where my sister lives is that the sea turtles use the beach to nest and hatch their babies. This morning local paper has the headline, “They’re on their way!” I’ve never been here during turtle season, but thinking this year I can be!
The season is May 1 through October 31. With any luck, I might get to see the babies hatching, making their way to the water. What a neat thing to see.
There are all kinds of rules, actually laws, about what you can and can’t do in turtle nesting areas. For those who live on the beach, their beach furniture must be removed from the beach between 11 PM and 5 AM. Adult sea turtles can get trapped in the furniture, and other recreational stuff. Lights inside the beach houses can’t be turned on if they can be seen from the beach, or must be obscured with shades or tint. The turtles use the moonlight, reflecting off the water, to make their way to the sea. They get confused with other light sources. Outdoor lights must be “turtle-friendly”, meaning no white lights. They need to be FWC approved, (and I’m sorry but I don’t know what FWC stands for but bulb packages are marked with their approval). They are in colors such as amber, or red, and don’t have the glare of a white bulb which will confuse the turtle. You can’t take pictures of them with a flash, because that will stop them in their tracks. That’s not good for babies, which have all kinds of predators. Conservation officers walk the beach every night to ensure compliance.
Anyway, I’m very excited at the thought of seeing the babiesi hatch and make their way to the water. Last year they had almost 600 nests on the beach on this end of the island, and about the same on the other end. I’m gonna try to be here for the next full moon, in fact, for the full moon’s all summer if I can, to see this happen at least once. Even though, apparently it does not take a full moon for them to hatch and make their way, it’s probably easier to see them in a full moon.
It’s one more reason to pinch myself that I live here. Love and light.